Parts of The Whole: Understanding Sailboats and Sailing – The Keel

By: Learn To Sail, Sailboats

The keel is a fixed appendage on the bottom of the hull that provides the sideways resistance needed to counter the force of the wind on the sails. The keel also carries ballast, usually iron or lead, the weight of which counteracts the force of the wind that causes a sailboat to heel, or lean over. On a modern boat, the keel is shaped in the form of an airfoil wing to generate lift, which helps it sail closer to the wind. A keelboat is generally larger than 20 feet and can be as large as a megayacht at 200 …

Parts of The Whole: Understanding Sailboats and Sailing – The Sails

By: Learn To Sail, Sailboats

It’s safe to say a sailboat is only as good as its sails when you consider that capturing the wind’s energy is the premise behind what sailors do to propel their boats in a forward direction. A good captain will trim those said sails to be as efficient as possible and the proper heading will help with overall performance, but the sail is the driving force of the boat.

Your Photo Could Be On the Cover of Our New Book!

By: American Sailing Association, Standards

In 2014, ASA will release Bareboat Cruising Made Easy, the latest in our line of cutting-edge sailing books. But before the book can be published, we need to find the perfect cover photo. We’re leaving no stone unturned in the search for the best photos depicting the bareboat cruising lifestyle, and we want our members & fans to be in on the fun! We have room for one outstanding photo on the front cover and several photos on the back cover. Do you have a fantastic charter photo that you’d like to see grace BCME? Then send it our way, and …

ASA’s sailing books are for everyone

By: American Sailing Association

There are many sailing books on the market, but if you read them all you’d never have time to actually, you know, go sailing. This blog will give you the 411 on the books ASA offers so you can decide if they’re right for you. (Spoiler: If you want to go sailing for fun, they are.) First, a little history. The grandfather of sailing textbooks is Nathaniel Bowditch’s massive 1802 doorstop The American Practical Navigator, whose comprehensive chapters cover not only piloting, dead reckoning, and seamanship, but also such obscure topics as “Geodesy and Datums in Navigation,” “Hydrography,” and “Ice …

Get carried away with sailing books

By: Equipment

Mark Twain once said: “The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” And so it goes for sailors. In addition to hands-on training and practice, one of the best ways to prepare yourself for life on the water is to read and study great sailing books. So, as an alternative to the rest of the summer reading lists out there, we’ve compiled this one for sailors. A great place for any aspiring sailor to start is with ASA’s top-of-the-line textbooks, which are expertly written, laid-out, and illustrated with world class photography …

2010: The Year in American Sailing

By: American Sailing Association, Flotillas, Members, Safety, Sailboats, Social Media

2010 has been a year of drama on the high seas, and one of change and excitement for ASA. Here’s a rundown of some of the big news from the past year: TOP SAILING STORY OF THE YEAR: Abby Sunderland Nothing else in the maritime world even came close to equaling the notoriety (and controversy) of this 16-year-old Californian sailor’s odyssey. Sunderland departed from ASA’s home port of Marina Del Rey, CA in January, attempting to become the youngest solo circumnavigator ever (a record previously held by her older brother Zac). She successfully rounded Cape Horn, but on June 10, …

103 Textbook in the Works

By: American Sailing Association, Instructors, Safety, Schools, Store

We are currently in the throes of designing the next new ASA textbook–an accompaniment to the ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising course. Last week, the team flew out to Bristol, Rhode Island, for a photo shoot with world-renowned sailing photographer Billy Black. Prolific cruising writer Jeremy McGeary took care to coordinate the shoot to match the book’s text. During the first couple days scheduled, the weather refused to cooperate: constant rain and winds whipping at 30 knots does not make a great setting for a photo shoot. But just when they had been almost washed out by the rain, ASA Instructor …